Nascone-Yoder Lab

North Carolina State University

Gut Evolution (Evo-Devo)

Changes in the length and compartmentalization of the digestive tract have enabled vertebrates to occupy diverse habitats and exploit different feeding strategies.


Phenotypic engineering: We are using small molecules in non-model frog species with alternate feeding strategies, such as Lepidobatrachus laevis (supplied by our collaborator, James Hanken at Harvard University, see image right), to understand how the development of the primitive gut tube becomes altered during evolution.

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Lepido

Most frogs (e.g., Xenopus laevis, top left ) have herbivorous or omnivorous tadpoles with an elongated intestinal tract (top right). In contrast, Lepidobatrachus laevis (bottom left) frogs have carnivorous tadpoles with a short intestine (bottom right).